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Big Dog Show this weekend

Swamp Scooter

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Well I know it is not REALLY about the hunting dog but lots of them will be there. Starts 1/5/07 with Specialties in the evening and then all day Sat. and Sun. Most regular classes begin in the morning and then end early afternoon with group judging starting just before 3pm. Should be about 2500 dogs a day there. It is at the River Center in St. Paul.

It is going to be fun, I keep telling myself, when I show the 14 month old Vizsla pup for his first time. Good place for the kids to get their doggie fixes on. Just wanted to put it out there that there ARE still hunting dogs around that can win in the ring and field.

Good luck to all.

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I wouldn't even consider buying a dog for hunting that has show lines in it. All I have heard is horror stories about Springers and Labs show lines. All the show English Springer Spaniel breeders have done is ruined the breed. They have turned it into a clumsy, short legged, un-athletic, stocky dog that has no resemblance to a field bred english springer spaniel. Just my opinion.

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I tell you what, most of my Lab lines now have a little show (usually 25%) bred into... The reason? 2 fold. One: the field trialers never even consider the build of the dogs they are breeding. They are bred for performance only. The majority of field labs no longer are the 'proper' build physically and most no longer have a true labrador coat. Like I've stated several times in the past, did you ever see a lab wear a neoprene vest 15 years ago? In the matter of 2 decades most field lab lines have had the downy undercoat bred out of them and only have the outer guard hairs to comprise their coats. There is no way that will insulate them for late season hunting... thus the neoprene vests. A show dog is required to have the dual coat. Also the proper tail, shorter ears (which help to keep water out) and a compact working muzzle. The reason the dogs were originally bred with these attributes and the AKC standards developed for each breed was to insure that they meet the criteria of what was needed for them to complete their jobs.

With that said, I agree that the show people have swung the pendulem way too far the other way, as far as too much bone, too short of legs and unathletic... but with research and work you can still find 'show dogs' that are working dogs too. The show dogs that I've gotten in my lines are either hunters or carry hunt test titles. The best of both worlds, a proper build with the instincts to hunt. One other thing you will notice with show lines... they have far less inherited disorders and they generally are much calmer dogs.

Would I ever buy a dog that was strictly out of show stock? Nope, I think the odds would be against you ever making a compatent gun dog out of one, but instilling the right show dogs in your pedigree can be a very good decision for you and your dog.

Good Luck!


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